Workshop: Social Networks and Organizations

20-06-2013 | 22-06-2013

VU University Amsterdam

3rd Amsterdam Workshop on Social Networks and Organizations: Theoretical Advances in Network Research

Prof. Dan Brass, LINKS Centre, University of Kentucky; Prof. Joe Labianca, LINKS Centre, University of Kentucky; Prof. Allesandro Lomi, CORE, University of Lugano; additional (to be announced)

Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen

Sociale wetenschappen

Congres / Symposium

3rd Amsterdam Workshop on Social Network Analysis research
20-22 June 2013
VU University Amsterdam

The 3rd Amsterdam Workshop on Social Networks and Organizations on Theoretical Advances in Network Research aims to bring together researchers interested in organizational processes from a network perspective.

A network perspective on organizational and management questions continues to appeal to a wide range of theoretical interests. These include strategy, entrepreneurship, HRM, organizational behavior, knowledge management and information systems, and many more. The diversity in theoretical approaches to network research has yielded equally diverse methodological approaches, analyzing both structural and relational dimensions of networks and networking in organizational settings (e.g., Borgatti & Halgin, 2011; Brass et al., 2004; Burt, 2004; Faraj & Johnson, 2010; Thompson, 2005; Zaheer & Soda, 2009).
The dramatic growth of network approaches to social processes is in addition fueled by the emergence of new forms of organization such as knowledge, development and interest communities on Internet. These repositories of interaction and content allow the study of large scale interactions in a continuous fashion. New challenges emerge methodologically (Howison, Wiggins, & Crowston, 2011) as well as with regard to theories (Faraj, Jarvenpaa, & Majchrzak, 2011). Analysis of large scale networks until now focuses on network description and has added only a limited set of theoretical insights. Attention to the dynamics of social and interest network evolution (Conaldi, Lomi, & Tonellato, 2012) might spur interesting new approaches to networks. In the nascent field also interest in the manner in which to theoretically interpret and analyze the mass of network and content data available on blogs, community forums and twitter is blooming. We are interested in the cross connections that are possible between language, culture and social network studies.
Scholarly interest in capturing and interpreting network dynamics is also increasing (e.g., witnessed in the recent special issue in Organization Science [Ahuja, Soda, & Zaheer, 2012]). However, research on social network dynamics remains a theoretically and methodologically challenging territory where new themes continue to emerge. For instance, how and why do the structure, the content, and the meaning of relationships emerge and change over time, but do networks nonetheless manage to maintain a clear focus? What conclusions can be drawn about the interplay between meaning and structure, and their contributions to network change and downfall over time? And what do network dynamics mean for the interactions between people, teams, organizations, and whole systems? Insights in these questions can help both management research and practice to draw meaningful conclusions about the utility and hindrance of networks at different points in time, and understand how to better leverage the power of networks in support of personal and organizational objectives.
Prof. Dan Brass, LINKS Centre, University of Kentucky
Prof. Joe Labianca, LINKS Centre, University of Kentucky
Prof. Allesandro Lomi, CORE, University of Lugano
Additional (to be announced)
Workshop objectives
This proposed workshop aims to bring together researchers interested in organizational processes from a network perspective. The workshop offers a forum to share the state of the art in network analysis and theorizing. It seeks to gather contributions from diverse theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that build on or extend network research. It is designed to attract papers that are in advanced state but not yet published and thus can benefit from the feedback from peers, and for each a senior scholar will act as a discussant. 
Logistics, participants and support
The workshop is hosted by VU University Amsterdam, 20–22 June 2013. In terms of participants, a balance will be sought to accommodate a mix of researchers representing different theoretical perspectives, as well as different stages in their career. The workshop will include round table sessions with paper presentations and discussants, key note presentations by prominent network scholars; and ample opportunity for social networking among participants.
The workshop is organized as a collaborative effort between researchers in the departments of Social Science, Business Administration, and Computer Science, with support of the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). So doing, the workshop offers a unique combination of thematic expertise on a wide array of topics related to social network structures and dynamics in offline settings and in virtual environments, as well as skill-building support to young researchers in early stages of their careers. 
Organizing committee VU University
Prof. dr. Peter Groenewegen, Professor of Organization Sciences
Dr. Julie Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Organization Sciences
Dr. Dirk Deichmann, Assistant Professor of Organization Sciences
Adina Nerghes, PhD Organization Sciences
Supported by:
Department of Organization Sciences & Network Institute
Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam
Amsterdam Business Research Institute, VU University, Amsterdam
Time schedule
We aim to have a maximum of 25 participants. In the program the emphasis will be on work in progress both theoretical and empirical. Based on the contributions invited we want to base discussions on integrating and agenda setting, so ample room for discussion is foreseen. The workshop also will be a place to discuss potential future projects.
If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of your paper of no more than 3000 words and a brief explanation of the project in which the paper fits by 30 April to Peter Groenewegen at
Ahuja, G., Soda, G., & Zaheer, A. 2012. Introduction to the Special Issue: The Genesis and Dynamics of Organizational Networks. Organization Science, 23(2): 434-448.
Borgatti, S.P., & Halgin, D.S. 2011. On Network Theory. Organization Science, 22(5): 1168–1181.
Brass, D. J., Galaskiewicz, J., Greve, H. R., & Tsai, W. 2004. Taking Stock of Networks and Organizations: A Multilevel Perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 47(6): 795-817.
Burt, R. S. 2004. Structural Holes and Good Ideas. American Journal of Sociology, 110(2): 349-399.
Conaldi, G., Lomi, A., & Tonellato, M. 2012. Dynamic Models of Affiliation and the Network Structure of Problem Solving in an Open Source Software Project. Organizational Research Methods.
Faraj, S., & Johnson, S. L. 2010. Network Exchange Patterns in Online Communities. Organization Science, 22(6): 1464-1480
Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, A. 2011. Knowledge collaboration in online communities. Organization Science, 22(5): 1224-1239.
Howison, J., Wiggins, A., & Crowston, K. 2011. Validity Issues in the Use of Social Network Analysis for the Study of Online Communities. Journal of the Association of Information Systems, 12(12): 767-797.
Thompson, M. 2005. Structural and Epistemic Parameters in Communities of Practice. Organization Science, 16(2), 151-164.
Zaheer, A. & Soda, G. 2009. Network Evolution: The Origins of Structural Holes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(1): 1-31.